The Healthcare Group Purchasing Initiative (the "Initiative") is an independent and voluntary organization created to establish and assure implementation of the highest ethical standards and business conduct practices in the healthcare group purchasing industry. The Initiative's governing body is a Steering Committee comprised of the Chief Executive Officers of the Initiative's nine founding members. A Working Group of representatives of the founding members provides general supervision and management of the Initiative. The Initiative Coordinator is an independent party who serves as the Initiative's chief operating officer managing its day-to-day affairs and coordinating the Initiative's Annual Best Practices Forum.
The Initiative's founding members are major healthcare group purchasing organizations ("GPOs") that formed the Initiative in 2005 to adopt and implement a set of six core ethical principles of business ethics and conduct that acknowledge and express their responsibilities to the public and to government entities that fund healthcare services in the United States. The Initiative's principles establish a process for the industry to improve and monitor its ethical and business conduct practices through significant transparency and to sustain a high level of trust with the public. Each Initiative member pledges to follow the six core ethical and business principles, to report annually on adherence to these principles using an Annual Public Accountability Questionnaire, and to participate in the Annual Best Practices Forum to discuss best ethical and business conduct practices with other GPO representatives and interested parties.
ADVISORY COUNCIL PURPOSES
The Initiative's purpose for forming an independent Advisory Council is to provide a source of independent advice and counsel to the Steering Committee and Initiative members in connection with developing, implementing, and managing compliance and best practices that:
Support the Initiative's commitment to sustain the highest level of trust with the public; and
Promote legal compliance and high ethical standards in the GPO industry.
ADVISORY COUNCIL RESPONSIBILITIES
The Advisory Council's key responsibilities include:
Provide counsel and advice to the Steering Committee on compliance best practices and applicable Initiative activities;
Participate in the annual Best Practices Forum, and other meetings or conference calls as requested by the Steering Committee; and
Provide assistance to the Initiative Coordinator and members (as requested) regarding best practices related to compliance programs.
ADVISORY COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP
The Advisory Council shall consist of at least three individuals, independent of all GPOs, and recognized for leadership in promoting ethical business conduct. The Initiative Coordinator will designate the individuals as directed by the Steering Committee (with the advice of the Working Group). Advisory Council members shall serve for a term as agreed by the council member, provided however no member may serve for longer than four consecutive years unless an exception is made by the Steering Committee.
Selection criteria for Advisory Council membership include:
A demonstrated record of adhering to and supporting ethical business practices;
A willingness to support the Initiative's principles;
A willingness to fulfill the Advisory Council's responsibilities;
A knowledge of the healthcare industry; and
Being notably respected within their respective professions.
ADVISORY COUNCIL CONFLICT OF INTEREST PROCEDURE
Each Advisory Council member must:
Complete a conflict of interest questionnaire on an annual basis;
Confirm the member's obligation to inform the Initiative of any conflict of interest not identified on the questionnaire that may arise subsequently; and
Disclose in writing any business, financial, or other relationship that may create a conflict of interest or be perceived to create a conflict of interest.
The Initiative Coordinator will review each Advisory Council member's conflict of interest questionnaire. An Advisory Council member must recuse herself or himself from any identified conflict of interest.